COVID-19/WHO & other topics – Daily Briefing (17 March 2020)

Noon briefing by Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

– COVID-19 – UN Offices
– COVID-19/Pakistan
– Libya
– Syria
– Central African Republic
– Tanzania
– Uzbekistan
– Global Goals
– Financial Contribution

UN teams around the world are continuing to offer support to national and local authorities to prepare and respond to the pandemic.
In Zimbabwe, upon the Government’s request, the UN is also supporting the most immediate preparedness needs such as training of healthcare workers, while ensuring their own safety, on caring for patients with COVID-19. The UN is also supporting the Government with the school system’s preparation, with posters for schools and leaflets for students to take home and share with families, while also preparing for potential home-schooling needs.
The UN is also engaging with the private sector and civil society for a whole-of-society response to COVID-19. In parallel, the UN has also supported the Government in developing a Risk Communication and Community Engagement Preparedness, Readiness, Response Plan, as well as public information material for distribution and display at health centres and other public places, including airports and other points of entry into Zimbabwe.
In China, the UN team has been supporting national and local efforts to share information on COVID-19 through traditional and social media channels targeting various age groups and communities. These efforts have helped reach over 1 billion views on several social media channels.
UN entities also translated COVID-19 preparedness messages in more than 40 languages and dialects tailored to the elderly or those in ethnic minority communities.
On social media, the most prominent is the Social Distancing Campaign jointly launched by the WHO and the Resident Coordinator, which has attracted over 51 million views and more than 540,000 people have participated in online discussions. A subsequent online survey conducted in early March indicated a 34 per cent increase of people maintaining social distancing since the outbreak, and more than 90 per cent of survey respondents correctly identified hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette and social distancing as some of the top four WHO recommendations.

The World Health Organization today called on Member States in South-East Asia to urgently scale-up aggressive measures to combat COVID-19, as confirmed cases cross 480, with eight deaths.
Eight of the 11 countries in WHO’s South-East Asia region have confirmed cases of COVID-19, and the numbers of cases are increasing quickly.
While this is an indication of an alert and effective surveillance, it also puts the spotlight on the need for more aggressive and whole of society efforts to prevent further spread of COVID-19, WHO said. We clearly need to do more, and urgently.

Full Highlights:

In This Story: Covid-19

Covid-19 is the official WHO name given to the novel coronavirus which broke out in late 2019 and began to spread in the early months of 2020.

Symptoms of coronavirus

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • a persistent new cough (non productive, dry)
  • a high temperature (e.g. head feels warm to the touch)
  • shortness of breath (if this is abnormal for the individual, or increased)

Latest News about Covid-19

Below are stories from around the globe related to the 2020 outbreak of novel Coronavirus – since the WHO gave the Covid-19 naming. Most recent items are posted nearest the top.

  • Victoria records 216 new cases of COVID-19 | ABC News
  • Oxford expert: COVID-19 may not have originated in China
  • Live: Netilogue full arable – food security after COVID-19
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